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Lake Region Electric Cooperative makes donation of bucket truck to M State-Wadena lineworkers

Journeyman Line Worker Steve Petersen, Lake Region Electric, hands his son and current student, Shannon Petersen, the keys to a bucket truck.1 / 2
(From left) Monty Johnson, dean of academics, Wayne Dykhoff, instructor, Steve Johnson, instructor, Shannon Peterson, student, Steve Peterson, journeyman at Lake Region, Tim Thompson, CEO at Lake Region, Bard Miller, president of operations at Lake Region gather in front of the truck.2 / 2

Current and future students in the electrical line worker program at M State - Wadena will benefit from a Ford Teco bucket truck that has been donated to the college by Lake Region Electric Cooperative.

It was a unique day on the program's training field as Steve Petersen, a journeyman at Lake Region Electric, handed over the truck's keys to his son, Shannon, a student in the Line Worker program. The Petersens represent the many families who have had multiple members -- six or seven, in some cases -- who have gone through the line worker program since it began in 1966.

"This exchange signifies not only the industry partnership between M State and Lake Region, but it also showcases the history and tradition of the electrical line worker program at M State - Wadena. As budgets are getting tighter, it's great to know that industry is willing to help in our efforts with their equipment donations," said Steve Johnson, electrical line worker instructor of 22 years.

Growth in the Wadena program has been driven in recent years by demand and expected turnover in the energy industry. Class sizes have expanded from 30 students to 42. The graduating class this spring will be the first where students have the option of earning an associate of applied science or a diploma in the electrical line worker program.